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The Children's Research Institute


Washington, DC, has the highest rates for HIV infection in the United States, particularly among African American residents. Early identification of the HIV infection in adolescents and youth, linkage to care and timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy are crucially important in curbing the District epidemic. Care for young people living with HIV is challenging, since high levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy are required to ensure optimal outcome of HIV infection and high quality of life. Reaching desired levels of adherence is often difficult for HIV-positive youth, particularly those residing in disadvantaged and inner city communities.

Natella Rakhmanina, MD, PhD, focuses her research on the effect of the genetics and developmental changes on the pharmacology and outcome of the antiretroviral therapy in children and adolescents. She serves as Principal Investigator of the several industry-sponsored clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs in children and adolescents. In addition, Dr. Rakhmanina leads a multidisciplinary team of clinical researchers studying the most efficient approach to screening adolescents and youth for HIV infection in pediatric emergency departments.

Dr. Rakhmanina and Lawrence D'Angelo, MD, are the Principal Investigators of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “HPTN 065: TLC-Plus” protocol at Children’s National, the only exclusively pediatric and adolescent sites within this National Institutes of Health-sponsored study which is aimed to determine the feasibility of a community focused enhanced test and link-to-care strategy in the United States. Both Drs. Rakhmanina and D’Angelo are the Principal site Investigators of the NIH/GW sponsored city-wide DC Cohort study of HIV-infected persons in care in the District of Columbia, which involves the establishment of a clinic-based city-wide longitudinal cohort describing clinical outcomes in outpatients with HIV/AIDS receiving care in Washington, DC, with the goal of improving HIV/AIDS care in DC. 

Faculty with interests in HIV-AIDS: